Do We Have To Hit Rock Bottom Before We Can Get Back Up Again?

Share Share Share

“Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.”

Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

There’s one generic ‘motivational’ quote that really resonates with me, but not in the way you might think. I’ll be honest, it’s corny as hell but bear with me. The quote reads, “Once you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way is up.” I know, I’m sorry, I’m cringing as I type, but give me a moment to explain.

For me, when I’ve hit rock bottom it’s no one’s fault but my own. Generally speaking, when I hit the bottom, it’s because I’ve made several poor life decisions, knowing full well what I was doing. There’s no real reason for my actions either, other than well, wanting to fuck my life up a little.

I hate drama and like a lot of people I avoid stress at all costs, so why do I make conscious decisions to plummet into the abyss? Whether it be tormenting my mind to the brink of depression or eating and drinking my body into a stupor, I make those choices. I put myself into self- destruct mode. In fact, so much so that when I message my closest friends, “I’m in self-destruct mode,” they know exactly what’s to come.

When I get into that mode, I’m incapable of saying no. My answer to most questions is almost always, ‘fuck it,’ though I know I should behave and simply say no. I drink too much, eat too much and on nights out, dance like a stripper whose rent is past due. I rarely feel it necessary to go home or stop drinking. I call for dick appointments with pricks I know won’t satisfy me, but hell, there I am at 1 am on Thursday night, outside of their houses stinking drunk. The next morning only feeling remotely satisfied by the fact that I have a story to tell and not by the act itself. I then drag my hungover behind out first thing in the morning. You know, so I can hit the shops for a new top before I get to work, so it isn’t blindingly obvious to my colleagues that I’m yet to go home to my own bed. I talk to people all day and in the evening, get to know people I know won’t lead anywhere because I’m terrified of being ‘on my own.’

It’s strange, the lonely feeling that is. I fear being entirely alone because as soon as I am, I know the depression will kick in. So, I’m out again for the numerous time that week talking, dancing and drinking until I’m so exhausted and there’s nothing but sleep left in me. I’m out for a good time no matter the consequences.

I feel I need to make bad those decisions and hit rock bottom because, for me, rock bottom gives me the kick up the ass and get my life in gear. I am never more motivated, proactive, organised, decisive and positive than when I take those first steps off the metaphorical dirty floor. You see, it’s not so much a solid ground, I see it more as a trampoline. The high feeling of floating up into the air when you’ve got your shit together. When you’re eating right, exercising and have your work/play balance priorities back on track. Then there is the coming back down, sometimes unsure how you’re going to land, perhaps you even twist your ankle when landing weird but hey, you’re having fun on the way down right?

Sometimes it’s the simplest of tasks that pull me out of my funk. Something as simple as finally putting the clothes away that reside on ‘the chair’ or even a full-on spring clean. Whether it be clearing out clothes or flipping and hovering my mattress, I am a woman on a mission to better myself once again. The start of cleaning my life up tends to start with literal cleaning before the rest can begin. I begin to turn down day drinking activities and excessive nights outs. Instead, I trade the drinking in for getting up early and heading to the gym, which in turn helps me to eat better. Clearer mind from less alcohol means no late-night visits and stopping those conversations with men not worthy of my time when they come my way. Work, whether it be my full-time job or personal ventures become more of pleasure than a drag that I’m required to do in order to fund my life. My relationships become far more meaningful as I am fully there with that person and not just wondering what antics we can get up to.

Fast forward to today. I’ve hit the bottom, but don’t feel sorry for me. I’m slowly heading on that upward trajectory. Instead of doing shots and slut dropping my way around the dancefloor, I’m in and sat next to calming candlelight. Accompanied by a low cal almond milk hot chocolate and a facemask. I’m writing again and choosing a night in to do so. Something that I haven’t done in a VERY long time. I’ve done enough damage to my body and mind this time around. My finger has skipped over that big red ‘self-destruct’ and instead, hit the ‘factory reset’ button.

Follow Clare on Twitter @ClareThirgood

(Image via @thepoopculture)